Neolithic Vinca Terracotta Human/Bison Head


Neolithic Vinca Terracotta Human/Bison Head

An ancient Neolithic Vinca large terracotta pottery lid in the form of the head with both human and bovine attributes. The head is molded with bovine horns but with a distinctly human prominent nose. The surface is incised to indicate large eyes and a thick mane.

Vinca Culture, Balkans.
Ca. 5000-4000 BC.
Length: 8 1/4 in. (21 cm).
Intact. Extremely rare.
Accompanied by a thermoluminescence test confirming its date to +/- 4000 BC.

The Vinca Culture derives its name from the modern village of Vinca, located on the banks of Danube, near Belgrade, where one of the largest and most significant prehistoric Neolithic settlements in Europe was discovered in 1908. The vast majority of Vinca figures represent women and animals.
These Vinca molded zoomorphic vessel lids are almost always in the form of birds, usually owls. The bovine features are unusual, as cattle were not yet domesticated in Europe when this piece was made.

cf.: M. Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess, (New York, 1989), pp. 50-53, pl. 1, figs. 88-89.

Formerly in a European private collection.

Inv#: 3912


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